JOHN Kear is preparing for some heavyweight build-up with the Bulls after they avoided any holiday excess.

The squad are back with a bang this week from their break as the countdown begins for League One.

As intensity levels ramp up on the training ground, Kear was happy to see that nobody had over-indulged during the festivities.

The Odsal coach said: "The players have all hit their target weights and their own sessions that they were prescribed by the conditioner have all been done. They came back in really good nick.

"You're quite at ease with certain people but there are others that perhaps you have a question mark or two against. But I'm delighted to say that they've been really disciplined again over Christmas.

"That paid off on Tuesday because straight away we're not looking at programmes designed to make them trim a few pounds. We can look forward rather than having to rectify things.

"We had a fruitful training session and they were buoyed by the review of the Halifax game. It was a good return.

"It was a really tough session – a welcome back session. But they embraced it and tonight will be another step up, as will Saturday at Odsal.

"Obviously we can't wait to get some more field sessions under our belts to further prepare ourselves for York."

Forward Ross Peltier suffered an ankle injury in the Boxing Day win over Halifax but he was able to rejoin the group as Kear reported a full bill of health.

He said: "Ross had an ankle strain but he came in for treatment between Christmas and New Year. The physio, Matt Dukes, has done a great job on him.

"Touch wood, we're looking pretty healthy at the minute and everything is on schedule for where we want to be on February 18 against York."

The Bulls play the second of five friendlies a week on Sunday when Sheffield Eagles come to Odsal.

Kear was impressed with what he saw on Boxing Day and sat the players down to go through some of the game highlights on their first night back.

He said: "We had nine debutants, so there were a lot of things to encounter. It wasn't the strongest Halifax team we were up against but a very committed one.

"The most testing thing about that afternoon was the conditions. It was very heavy, it was raining constantly throughout the game and to play as we did was very heartening indeed.

"We have identified areas we need to improve upon – but we've also looked at things we did well and given them a little pat on the back for that."

Joe Keyes will not be risked against Sheffield but hopes to return from his knee injury at Dewsbury on January 21.

Kear said: "He'll certainly play against Dewsbury, which is before schedule. We're really happy about that and we're going to look after him."